Taistealachd air Slìghe Naomh Chonain/ Pilgrimmage on St Conan’s Way

Schafe vor Ben Cruachan, Argyll, Schottland
Path ascending to the MacIntyre Parliament in the distance

English version below

Ràinig mi Eilean Ì air an ochdamh là as dèidh dhomh coiseachd à Clachan an Diseirt no Dail Mhàilidh air Slìghe Naomh Chonain. Chan eil fada bhon a thòisich a’ choimhearsnachd Chaitligeach an sin ris an slìghe seo a shanasachd. Choisich mise i thairis air beagan mhìosan ge-tà. Dh’fhàg mi ann an cuideachd Chalum agus Rut bho Chraig Lodge san Damhair an uiridh. Bha a’ chiad phìos gu math furasta air seann rathad an airm gu ruige Sròn nam Mialchon.

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Lean mi orm leam fhìn beagan làithean as dèidh sin còmhla ri Marsco, an cù agam. Tha rathad beag a’ dol suas gu sgeama hydro, ach as dèidh sin feumar cruinn feadha a leantainn thairis air a’ mhonadh dhan a’ bhealach far an do chruinnich Clann Mhic an t-Saoir aig creag mhòr chòmhnard aig aon àm. Is e Pàrlamaid Chlann an t-Saoir a theireadh iad ris. Tha am bealach aig 564m, ach is e an slìghe sìos air an taobh eile am pìos as duilghe. Thuit mise trì tursan, ach gu fortanach bha mi ceart gu leòr. Tha sealladh snog ann ge-tà thairis air Loch Èite.

Ràinig mi Inbhir Abha as dèidh ochd uairean a thìde is mi gu math sgìth, ach glè thoilichte. Bhithinn an còmhnaidh ag ùrnaigh na Conair-Mhoire fhad’s a bha mi a’ coiseachd. Thòisich daoine ag ràdh rium gun robh mi a’ coimhead nas fhallaine cuideachd. Ro na seo bha mi an còmhnaidh air a bhith beagan teagmhach an robh mi comasach air a leithid a rud a dhèanamh. Feumaidh gun robh na h-ùrnaighean a’ dèanamh diofar. Co-dhiù, rinn mi an ath-phìos gu ruige Taigh an Uillt an ceann uair a thìde air là eile.

Tha an rathad tro Ghleann Lònain furasta a choiseachd is gun mòran chàraichean air. Tha cha mhòr 20km an seo is mar sin bha mi sgìth gu leòr as dèidh dhomh an t-Òban a ruigsinn. Às an seo thathar a’ moladh a dhol air an aiseag gu ruige Creag an Iubhair ann am Muile. Sna seann làithean bhiodh daoine a’ gabhail slìghe eadar ealaichte is iad a’ giùlain cistean nan rìghrean a dh’Eilean Ì. Ach chan eil i sin cho furasta san là a th’ ann gun bàta a bhith agad.

Choisich mise air an rathad mhòr, an A849, gu ruige Peighinn a’ Ghàidheal (Peighinn a’ Ghabhail à-rèir a’ Bhrig Iain MacPhàrlain: àite far an cumadh iad crodh a bh’ air a ghoid). Rinn mi am pìos sin air dà là ann an sreath a’ chèile. Gabhaidh e dèanamh taobh a-staigh là, ach is e là fada a bhiodh ann. Mholainn do dhuine sam bith coiseachd taobh a-muigh an t-seasain leis gum faodadh cus chàraichean a bhith air an rathad as t-samhradh. Tha a’ bhileag a dh’fhoillsich Craig Lodge a’ toirt iomradh air seirbheis nam busaichean poblach a dh’fhaodadh lioft a thoirt dhuibh mura h-eil sibh airson am pìos air fad a dhèanamh ann an aon là. Chuirinn ris an sin gun do chuir mi mo chorrag a-mach agus cha robh e ro dhoirbh lioft fhaotainn.

B’ ann bho chionn ghoirid a chur mi crìoch air an t-slìghe mu dheireadh thall. Choisich mi a Bhun Easain air aon là agus air adhart gu ruige Fionnphort an àth là. Tha mi a’ faireachdainn gur e àite naomh a tha san Ros Mhuileach cho math ri Eilean Ì fhèin. Tha slìghe eile ann faisg air a’ chosta cuideachd, ach chan eil e sin cho furasta a choiseachd. Dh’fhaodte gur e pròiseact airson là eile a tha sin.
What a great experience for mind, body and soul to walk the St Conan’s Way from Dalmally to Iona. I was doubtful whether I would make it, but it was all a question of willpower and prayer. Over a few months a walked a total of 8 days. The most difficult part is from Stronmilchan to Inverawe. At first there is a track leading up to a hydro scheme, but then one has to follow wooden poles across the heather. Just before reaching the pass at 564m one passes the MacIntyre Parliament, a large, flat stone where the clan apparently used to meet once a year. The descent towards Loch Etive is challenging and I fell three times, but the view is stunning. It took me 8 hours to reach Inverawe and from there it is only a short stroll to Taynuilt.

The next 20km through Glen Lonan are pleasant and easy to walk on tarmac without much traffic. From Oban I took the ferry to Craignure, although this wasn’t the way the kings would have been taken to Iona. However it is the most convenient one. From there I did the remainder in four days, but it can be done in two. I timed it so I could get a public bus back to where the car was, but people are also good at giving lifts. There is another route along the cost, which is much harder to walk though. Maybe it is a challenge for another time.

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